Something huge is happening as trees are being rolled over in Dhara Sangla Compartment Number 43 and the forest officials know it!
If the reports are to be believed the practice has been going on since long. (What else is happening I will tell you later in the script).
This is yet another forest crime which is happening in the the Pir Panjals and that to in the area which is a beautiful zone and if the forest cover is removed at this rate at which it is being done then the department honking that the forest cover has increased in the past is just akin to a cry in a hollow well, which incidentally is meaningless.
At this rate the topography of the area is bound to change and the worst part is no one is interested.
The area began changing with the forest cover vanishing and the barrenness and baldness of the slopes became very clearly visible. It was rather baffling that no one observed the phenomenon, especially so the officers of the department who were on duty there.
If the reports are to be believed then there is some other dubious thing behind it which everyone knows but I would be more descriptive on this later.
Hacking the forests away from the noise and sounds of the townships in the places which are more calm and refreshing is what the forest bandits do since there is no one to check them.
As per sources plenty of money changes hands in these ludicrous deals so that the men with the axes and saws are given the free run and they are on the job in gobbling up the government property.
When J&K was a state it was a normal unchecked practice all over but then the same was stamped out to an extent but here in Surankote even after J&K became a UT it is carrying on nonstop and it is time that it is checked before everything is razed to the ground.
What is required is stern action since the after effects of this forest land subjugation are going to be many starting with deforestation, climatic changes, environmental disasters, flash floods and complete wilting away of this part of the Pir Panjal slopes! We are already feeling the heat and seeing the same, say the people! The requirement here is to take action and stop the ongoing nuisance going on, otherwise it is signaling towards a distinct forest department district and administrative failure, they further add on!
Cannot speak much on what I saw but still would give the vivid picture of the same. The weather had calmed down and the downpour from the skies had eased up. Seeing the slopes of the Pir Panjals was a bit painful and also loathsome, the trees had been erased in the foothills and probably above that, patches of muddy brown existed and very conspicuous was the down slope of water not in trickles but in gushes with the noise created by it echoing all over the place. The streamlets (nallahs) had changed course and were flowing wherever they wanted to and hence were threatening the peoples (but from the words of the people the conclusive argument was that the threat could become a disaster now). The way the trees of some rare and great species which grow only in Pir Panjals are being demolished it simply does not augur well for the environment. The obvious result has to be that after heavy rains it would be devastation by water that would lead the onslaught for the humans to suffer. This is an affirmative conclusion in every sense here and the rest is up to the full wisdom of the administration!
This bizarre, bizarro, cranky, crazy, curious, eccentric, erratic, and far-out situation has been created by men to make fast track money and if people are to be believed then it has been happening for quite some time now. The Forest Department operational here has all the answers. But I will give straight one here, the officials in the department are irreparably corrupt and hence are a direct party to the Jungle mafia operating here.The deal is quaint, queer, queerish, quirky and remarkable (in the sense that officials of Forest Department are getting paper money and mafia is getting the same in bundles). Again needless to mention the jungles today are going naked and barren in this compartment and thus the Mother Nature is being punished no end
I did meet the people who came in hordes as they wanted to make themselves heard, so that the stupor ridden administration could be jolted. It is time they are listened to. The mafia is hacking down trees, developing them into logs and sleepers and transporting them to the requisite destinations. The people have also said that the whole mechanism is being carried from their houses. This also means that they can be nabbed if the administration rises to the occasion. So far the officials are still in a reverie and hopefully they will wake up at least now.
The way they are going on the jungles would be decimated by the outrageous outfit which is local and they wear a sinister look, the people say that though they know about them but will refrain themselves since drawing their attention means trouble in every sense. The forest department will not do anything since they are all a party to it in this jungle ride. Had they been interested this work would have already been stopped? But it has continued. Thus it is imperative that the jungle hacking by the Mafia has to be stopped forthwith.
The people want the Deputy Commissioner and District Forest Officer Poonch to seriously intervene in this fiasco because the things are really badly poised here. The loot of the UT property and that too in an open manner and brazenly should not be acceptable but the same is happening! Now it is for the administration to decide whether it is right or wrong? Any sane person would say that it is wrong!